light into ashes
Jul 12, 2011 6:50pm
Re: TDIH 1970
It's a pity the tape is so lousy, because this is easily one of the hottest shows of the year, perhaps top-ten.
And not only are there acoustic rarities, but this is the FIRST Other One>Uncle>Other One, and the only one until August '71.
It's one of those audience tapes where you can feel the energy building and building throughout the set - when they do the Other One>Uncle>Other One and then go right into a hard-jammed Dancing with the Tighten Up section, and then pop into the long Lovelight with a Stephen jam....you can practically hear the Fillmore exploding. This is one of the shows that made the Dead legendary.
One reviewer who was there was awed by "the magical way the Dead could make the ambience of a rock concert more like a religious service....the concert started with acoustic instruments and gradually built into an overwhelming electrical wave."
From a newspaper review:
"The Dead work into their celebration very slowly. They begin with only two acoustic guitars, an electric bass and drums... Someone in the audience shouts "Turn it up!" and Jerry Garcia quickly retorts "Don't worry man. It'll get louder!" ...
At 3:15 a.m. [after the NRPS set] suddenly Mickey Hart's drums explode, Garcia's guitar takes off, and the Grateful Dead inject a whole new spirit of life into the crowd... Everything begins to move. There is a real rapport between the band and the audience. The people are on their feet and moving... The rows of seats have dissolved in a mass of squirming bodies. The communal consciousness of the Fillmore reaches higher and higher with each song...
Garcia loomed above the whole celebration like a warm teddy bear, firing out notes from his guitar as if it were a machine gun. The whole band answered perfectly, sensing exactly where he was going and exactly how to follow...
The distinction between band and crowd dissolves as the Dead go into Turn On Your Lovelight. Pigpen lets loose with the lyrics, and the audience, providing accompaniment for the band by clapping, stamping, shaking tambourines and beating cowbells, answers back. Garcia’s guitar flies higher and higher. The whole Fillmore moves in time to the drumming... A cannon explodes. The song ends. The lights come back on. It is 5:30 a.m.”
7/11 was incredible as well, with one of the most jammed-out Not Fade Aways of the year, and the most explosive Viola Lee. The set started with a film clip of Night of the Living Dead, from which the band burst into Morning Dew.
A couple reviews of 7/11, the first from Marty Weinberg:
"When they ended the show, there was light coming in through the windows, because it was in the summer and it was about five in the morning. And they ended the show with Viola Lee Blues, which they didn't play very much. It was a rare thing to hear them play that...typically, it was a dirge kind of thing - they started it off very slowly, it was really plodding; and they reached that point in it where it's totally John Coltrane, out of control... They had one of those mirrored balls hanging from the center of the Fillmore, maybe twenty feet above the audience - they lowered it down and it was turning, and when the music was totally out of control, and the theater was pretty dark, and the atmosphere was just berserk, they turned the large lighting units on, all pointing towards that ball. There was no other lighting, just laser beams flashing around. And I remember looking up, cause everyone's going crazy, thinking, 'It doesn't get any better than this. There's nothing these guys are ever going to do that will equal this moment in terms of sheer emotional intensity.' And the guys in the band were looking out at this scene; you could barely see them, it was pretty dark. I'm thinking, 'You know, they're enjoying this, too...this is not just a group of guys playing for us.' The feeling was magical - so that show was amazing, it was a wonderful show."
And another 7/11 review from 'Kenny':
"The show itself was a true happening. The dead were big but their popularity was still somewhat manageable. I remember people face painting in the lobby, passing joints freely in their seats and from what I could tell (and see), the majority of the room was reasonably dosed on acid.
I remember the Night of the Living Dead montage. It was mind blowing, and when they hit the bottom note for Morning Dew, the place shook and people screamed in ecstasy.
I do remember the intensity of Viola Lee Blues with the music and light show hitting fever pitch and I was right below the mirrored ball as it descended.
When they finished out the night by playing Uncle John's Band, the Fillmore staff opened the exit doors and with a picture of the rising sun on the light-show screen, we also were treated to the morning sunlight streaming in as they played. People were jumping out of their skulls."